1832

Charles Mickle and family emigrate from England and build their home named “Forest Hill”, after his birthplace. It was built in the area of the present-day “Red House”, the current home of the Jesuits in Guelph.

1833

Mickle built a saw mill along the creek which was later converted to a grist mill, and then to barns. The ruins of the mill/barns can still be seen today and are part of the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest lands.

1852

Bishop Charbonnel of Toronto appoints Fr. John Holzer, SJ, to be Pastor in Guelph at St. Patrick’s under the care of the Jesuit until 1931; during these years the Jesuits of Guelph were responsible for the territory north to Lake Huron, establishing 56 missions in that area.

1861

Fr. John Holzer, SJ, founded St Joseph’s Hospital in Guelph and invited the Sisters of St Joseph of the Hamilton Diocese to run the hospital.

1874

Fr. John Holzer’s successor Fr. P. Hamel, SJ began plans for Church of Our Lady. Construction began in 1877 under Irish-Canadian architect Joseph Connolly who had designed many churches in Ireland, England and Ontario.

1913

The land, known today as the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, is purchased by the Canadian Jesuits to establish St. Stanislaus Novitiate; a house of formation for Jesuit novices. Their vision was challenged in 1918 when the Novitiate endured a military raid.

1921

Expansion plans for the novitiate continue on including the construction of a Chapel wing.

1954

Fire destroys the original building at St. Stanislaus Novitiate.

1958

St. Stanislaus incorporates and becomes Ignatius College. Close to 100 Jesuits live in Guelph and about 20 new novices arrive annually. After Vatican II the Juniorate and Philosophy studies were combined and the Jesuit scholastics begin attending the University of Guelph.  Several Jesuits were hired to teach at the university.

1964

Loyola Retreat House relocates from Oakville to the Ignatius land and is called ‘The Guelph Centre of Spirituality’.

1969

Jesuit vocations start to decline and Ignatius College soon becomes too large for the Jesuit needs.

1975

Red House Community begins.

1976

Programs in classical studies at Ignatius College close. Jesuit students relocate from the University of Guelph to St. Michael’s Institute at Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington.

1977

The Farm Community is established with the Red House and Farm House taking over the running of the Farm.

1980

The Red House becomes known as the Ignatius Farm Community; key to developing the Ignatius agricultural lands.

1984

The Farm Project takes root.

1987

An addition is added to expand the west wing of Loyola House for staff associates on long programs.

1993

Discussions about the purpose of Ignatius College and land; new visioning and apostolic desires expressed; ecological issues come to the fore, including the ‘Greening of the Ignatian Exercises’.

1999

The Ecology Project is started by James (Jim) Profit, SJ.

2000

Ignatius College closes and is converted to Orchard Park Office Centre.

2001

Ignatius Farm Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is established, providing families and area businesses with farm-fresh food.

2002

Ignatius Farm’s Internship Program begins – integral in the creation of CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farming Training) Ontario a network of ecological farms offering internships.

2003

The Ecology Project addresses the relationship between Christian faith and ecological spirituality through Ignatian values.

2006

Plant an Old-Growth Forest Project takes root through collaboration with community partners to ensure 100 acres of land and water on the east side of Highway 6 North will be restored to ecosystems similar to the original forest and waterway.

2008

St. Brigid’s Villa opens; built in 1964 as a summer place for Jesuits; renovated by Wellington Catholic District high school students; used 194 days of the year by local schools and the venue for conferences, meetings and private events.

2009

St. Francis of Assisi Chapel is built by Wellington Catholic District high school students as a quiet place of prayer for retreatants and others.

The Ignatius Jesuit Centre becomes a bottled-water free environment.

2010

Plant an Old-Growth Forest Project works with local organizations to decommission the Marden Creek dam, freeing the creek for the first time in 180 years; to return Marden to a cold-water creek ecosystem.

2011

Sacred Ground, the Centre’s $5M campaign, is launched to renew Loyola Retreat House for the next century of service and support the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest.

2013

Jesuit Community in Guelph celebrates 100 years of mission at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre.

An Ecology Programs Committee is formed ensuring long-term integration and sustainability of ecology into retreat and training programs.

2014

Ignatius Old-Growth Forest – the 500-year project – becomes the new name for the Plant an Old-Growth Forest Project.

Loyola House celebrates 50 years in Guelph.